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Alun Wyn Jones signs new Ospreys contract

Alun Wyn Jones in action for Wales Credit: PA photo

Alun Wyn Jones has signed a new contract to keep him at the Ospreys until 'after the next world cup', the region have confirmed. The 28-year-old, who's won 74 caps for Wales, captained the Lions in the series-winning third test against Australia last Summer.

Yesterday, fellow Lions star Leigh Halfpenny became the latest Wales international to announce he was leaving the domestic scene to play in France.

WRU and regions fail to make deal

The WRU has released a statement on their website this evening after they failed to make a deal with the regions over the future of Welsh rugby.

Officials from the Ospreys, Scarlets, Blues and Dragons met with the WRU over where the four regions should be playing and how to stop top players like Sam Warburton, who has threatened to leave Cardiff Blues to play abroad.

The four regions say they want to move away from the RaboDirect PRO12 League and join the English Premiership to form an Anglo-Welsh league.

The WRU want the regions to sign an agreement to stay in the PRO 12 and play in the Heineken Cup.

It's understood further talks are planned.

At this key moment for rugby in Wales, the WRU continues to work hard in the best interests of Welsh rugby as a whole.

It would be unfair on the fans, the players and all of Welsh rugby to make any further speculative comment at this time.

However, the WRU remains hopeful that the Regions will decide to continue with the Participation Agreement by the deadline of 31st December 2013.

– Welsh Rugby Union

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Gatland adds four to squad

Tom Prydie is one of four players drafted into the Wales squad Credit: PA photo

Wales Coach Warren Gatland has called up four players to his injury-hit Wales squad for the remaining Autumn Internationals against Argentina, Tonga and Australia. Dragons backs Tom Prydie and Hallam Amos, plus Scarlets props Samson Lee and Rhodri Jones will all train with the squad this week.

It comes as Gatland grapples with a mounting injury list following Saturday's 24-12 defeat to South Africa. Centre Jonathan Davies, winger Liam Williams, and props Adam Jones and Scott Andrews all limped off during the game, with Davies ruled out for the remaining matches with a chest injury.

Regional Rugby Wales welcome WRU funding

Given the severe difficulty that every Welsh club faces in today’s tough economic environment, any additional funding that is potentially available to the grass roots of our game is positive news for rugby communities around Wales.

From a Regional Rugby point of view, we remain focused on our original published objectives , including the development of Welsh international players and their retention in Wales , so we are of course encouraged to hear of any proposed initiative that may help contribute to that particular goal.

We have been consistent in our position that we need to work to define long-term structural solutions that can strategically improve the framework of professional rugby in Wales.

We very much look forward to hearing the details behind the WRU's announcement and understanding the mechanism by which the proposed one-off action will make a positive and sustainable contribution to our game over time.

As the PwC report identified the logical strategic solution is a closer and more collaborative approach between the Regions and the WRU so we look forward to working with the WRU on this proposal and in developing the right long term strategies for Welsh professional rugby.

– Stuart Gallacher, Chief Executive RRW

WRU announces £2.5m boost for Welsh rugby

The money will be for both grassroots and international rugby Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has announced it will invest an additional £2.5m to help improve the game across Wales.

Following a series of meetings between the WRU and the four Welsh regions, £1m will be awarded to regional rugby to target the development and recruitment of Welsh international players.

The extra funding comes following the success of the senior international team during the Six Nations title for the third time since 2008.

Warburton to captain Lions for Queensland Reds match

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North and Halfpenny to start for Lions tour

George North and Leigh Halfpenny are given their first starts of the Lions tour. Credit: PA

Four Wales players have been handed the chance to stake their claim for a place in Warren Gatland's test XV for Wednesday's warm-up clash with Western Force in Perth. There is still no place for injured captain Sam Warburton who is continuing his recovery from a knee problem.

George North and Leigh Halfpenny have been given their first starts of the tour while Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans make up and all-Welsh second row alongside England's Tom Croft and Irish pair Sean O'Brien and Jami Heaslip.

Coach Warren Gatland has opted for a completely fresh starting line-up after Saturday's 8-59 win in searing temperatures in the opening game of the three-test tour.

Toby Faletau is the only other Welsh addition, starting on the bench.

Lions 'raring to go' - Gatland

I am really excited by the first selection of the tour. Naturally it comprises largely those players not involved in last weekend’s Aviva Premiership and RaboDirect PRO12 finals and we have a lot of players making their debuts for the Lions. At the same time we have a hard core of experience with the six former Lions sharing 430 caps between them and 19 Lions Tests.

There are also some proven combinations such as the Welsh centre pairing and backrow. Some of the boys who played last weekend are on the bench as cover and generally everyone in the camp is raring to go.

– Warren Gatland, British and Irish Lions Squad

Welshmen dominate the Lions line-up

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named his team to face the Barbarians in Hong Kong on Saturday. A total of 11 Welshmen are in the 23 man squad, but Ireland's Paul O'Connell has taken on the captaincy after Sam Warburton was sidelined by a knee injury.

The starting line up includes Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Toby Faletau. George North and Alun Wyn Jones are on the bench.

Lions team named

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